Back Pain Leading Cause of Global Disability

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Back Pain Leading Cause of Global Disability Nearly everyone suffers from back pain at some point in their lives, but for almost 1 in 10 people, back pain is a chronic, daily concern. The widespread prevalence of lower back pain makes it the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to a new analysis from the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

The study included data from 47 countries and 117 different studies, which surveyed the effects of 291 conditions in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. Researchers discovered that lower back pain is the number one source of lost years due to  disability, calculated by years living with the debilitating condition. Overall, low-back pain (LBP) is the sixth condition in terms of overall global burden.

Between 1990 to 2010, the number of people with lower back pain increased by 58.2 million, affecting 9.4% of the world population. The condition is most prevalent in Western Europe, and the least prevalent in the Caribbean and Latin America, according to

“With an ageing population, there is an urgent need for further research to better understand LBP across different settings, ” the study authors concluded.

Most cases of lower back pain can be resolved through non-invasive, drug-free methods, including exercise and chiropractic care. Back pain has a number of potential causes, from a pinched nerve to a muscle strain, or simply sitting at a desk too long. Chiropractors are specially trained in diagnosing and treating back pain, so they can determine the best drug-free treatment methods for you. Research shows that chiropractic can effectively ease chronic back pain, and prevent it from recurring in the future.



Hoy, D. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of  Rheumatic  Disease  doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428.

Sifferlin, Alexandra. This is the no.1 cause of disability worldwide. Time. March 25, 2014.

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